Universal Translator: Pronoun

Dear Editor: Unsurprisingly, my colleague The Unlearned Dresgjas Sjart-Iiih grasps the incorrect end of the tree waste when he pontificates about nouns. He asserts that humans are primitive beings obsessed with naming objects, when in fact their complex culture is built on the ritual avoidance of nouns. I will attempt to set the record straight with this entry.

Pronouns. Words that take the place of nouns, so that these nouns cannot be specifically identified.

Types of Pronouns. Humans have demonstrated their cultural sophistication by dividing their pronouns into several categories.

Indefinite Pronoun: A pronoun used to avoid blame when an act has been performed that is contrary to social expectations. For example, when humans are challenged for putting forth a nonsensical idea, they will state “Everyone thinks that!” Or when someone’s fermented beverage is missing from any cooling device, the chief suspect can remark that “Anyone could have done it.”

Interrogative Pronoun: A pronoun used by human interrogators to force another human to reveal a specific noun: “What was taken?” Who did it?” “Which way did he go?” These pronouns require special care, and are only used by those with special roles in human society, such as mothers or expert swordsmen.

Inigo asking the Man in Black "Who are you?"

In this recording, the interrogator asks a ritually masked man “Who are you?” and is unable to force a noun from him. This demonstrates the strong taboo against nouns.

Demonstrative Pronoun: A pronoun used by humans to avoid identifying things when they are being interrogated. When asked what is missing, for example, a human can wave one of their appendages in a random geometrical pattern and say, “You mean those? Or these?”

Personal Pronoun: A pronoun that deliberately protects a human or valued object from being named and coming to the attention of any jealous, wrathful deities. When taking notice of either an accomplishment or a failure, a human will make statements like “I did it” or “That’s yours.

Intensive Pronoun: A pronoun used by important humans to compensate for their lack of a specific name and regain social status: “I myself believe that I am the most favoured of the gods.” An intensive pronoun can also be reused by these humans as a reflexive pronoun when admiring themselves in a mirror as an object: “I have taken an ocular impression of myself, and I look shiny during this diurnal cycle.”

Relative Pronoun: A pronoun that prevents the overuse of a noun when there is no choice but to name something or someone. This pronoun relates back to the noun. For example: “The Unlearned Dresgjas Sjart-Iiih, who is woefully ignorant, should employ my superior anthropological methodology in the future to ensure accurate scholarship.”

Entry submitted by The Superior Antarinalia Ravannilah of the planet Trin-La

(Editor’s Note: Find a real Earth expert next time – if there is such a thing!)


Image of Inigo Montoya from one of my favourite movies ever, The Princess Bride

Stay tuned for future entries on other parts of speech. 🙂 If you missed the entry on nouns, you can find it here. As always, I welcome any feedback. Was this post helpful for you? Superior alien minds want to know!